"Ditto" derived from the french phrase "de tout" meaning "of all", Ditto is an app for anyone and everyone, regardless of their age or the ability to use mobile applications. We have created this app for seniors who are unable to advertise their stores via online, by the help of student volunteers. Ditto will help the sales of senior sellers in local stores, especially in this time of period since people have started to use online delivery services even more rather than physically visiting stores due to the COVID-19 situation and social distancing.

Inspiration

After the outbreak of COVID-19, a lot of merchandisers have lost their customers and are barely running their stores. As a consequence, e-commerce platforms has been acknowledged as one of the most important technology and has been a go-to place for advertising stores. However, it is still not perfect, as some are missed out: those who are afraid of anything online, those who can only receive or dispatch a call, and those who even have not heard about online marketing. It is mostly our grandparent or parent generation in their 50's to 70's. Observing this trend, we believe someone who is knowledgeable with the internet should help them. However, who would do so without any reward? Should I rely on those kindhearted minorities while having a lot of senior sellers drowning in worries and bills?

"No," we concluded. We thought there must be someone who is also in need of this opportunity, and at that moment, "students" popped in our minds. In Korea particularly, students from 7th grade to 12th grade are obliged to volunteer for a certain amount of time to graduate. Yet, we heard that they are having a hard time finding places to volunteer as a lot of the providers have closed due to pandemic. So, we thought our idea can additionally help students by providing an alternative volunteering opportunity online. After confirming the possible connection between the needs of two parties, we then started creating our app that can connect senior sellers and students so that they can get to know each generation more and teach what they are best at. What a win-win!!

What it does

Ditto is an integration of online shopping platform and volunteering platform. Our app provides numerous benefits:

  • Shoppers can find local stores nearby and easily view their basic information and available items/services
  • Students can fulfill their volunteering requirement and learn other useful skills such as skillsets for running a business directly from store owners. (We are assuming most of the volunteers as students if applied in Korea, but it does not restrict it to students only. Any volunteers are welcomed!)
  • Local sellers can successfully advertise their stores online and if further features added, learn how to use basic mobile technologies and become online-independent

How it works

  1. Local merchandisers may contact the Ditto service center for advertisement
  2. Ditto service center posts the store's basic information such as their contact and name and post it to the "Stores in Need" page
  3. Volunteers sign up for stores they are willing to help
  4. After approval, volunteers contact or visit the stores to get more information about the products and services
  5. The volunteer can add the store in the DItto app
  6. Volunteers can also update the store information, events, or discounts.
  7. Customers can easily view local stores nearby and contact them using Ditto.

We have attached a slides named "How Ditto Works.pptx". Please view the slides.

How we built it

Ditto comprises an app build using React Native for Node.js and hosted on Heroku for supporting senior sellers who are struggling by digital lag and students in short of volunteering opportunities.

  • Data is managed via Mongodb.
  • Major restful API is apisauce.
  • Key features in the app were accomplished mostly by Expo and React Native APIs.

Challenges we ran into

  • Converting local images to public URL and saving them in our database
  • Utilizing expoPushToken for notification
  • Working in a team only through online due to pandemic

What we learned

For the very first time, from scratch, we created a React Native app that can be used anywhere in the world. No one in our team had any prior experience with React Native or database services, but by learning building blocks from online tutorials, we were able to proudly materialize our idea into a mobile app.

What's next for Ditto

Our ultimate goal for Ditto is to establish a non-profit organization where we can gather volunteers around the world that are interested in helping senior sellers and who are willing to work with Ditto to help those senior sellers advertise their stores.

  • Add a service and guidelines so that students can further teach basic to advanced mobile technologies to the owners and easily check their progress on teaching
  • Add feedback area so that we can get improve the app based on it
  • List stores in the order of the shortest distance
  • Register this idea to the Ministry of Education in Korea so that we can offer valid volunteering hour recognitions to students
  • Release the working model onto Google Play Store & App Store

How to test out app

Because of an unexpected error, we are having some issues in our app. Therefore, we'd like to add some notes:

  • Registration process is not working at all right now, so instead please login using the following account: ID - kakao@hiride.ca password - kakao
  • We did not have enough time to add enough data in each category of our app. Try look at "Restaurants" or "Coffee & Dessert".

Release link via Expo: https://expo.io/@umum3006/Ditto?release-channel=staging *** You must have an android phone and install Expo application before accessing the given link. ***

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